Saturday, February 17, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Mommy and Me - Sleeve Drama


"I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect, they are much more interesting." 
Marc Jacobs


HAPPY Saturday! I am in love with most of the McCall's EARLY-SPRING pattern and will be sewing up a storm the next few weeks.  I knew for sure that I wanted to use at least 3 to 4 to create a Spring capsule which include dresses, jumpsuits, and tops with sleeve drama.  When I saw this pattern M7223, I knew it was a MUST have.  It was icing on the cake when they created a mini version of a popular sleeve pattern M7542  now for girls in M7708.


I chose to use seersucker fabric for both as recommended by Jackie the pattern designer at McCall's.  The fabric that I chose for my look is a 100% cotton seersucker with NO stretch while Arielle's fabric has 3% lycra stretch. Fabric Mart has a huge selection and a variety of colors available (HERE).  I quickly ordered my fabric and choose colors that were perfect for Spring.

VIEW A Bodice
VIEW B Sleeves
Added a FLOWER applique to JAZZ up the TOP.


M7223 is an easy sew but patience is required.  The sleeve took almost 2 hours to attach as each sleeve has 4 pieces for View B; top, 2 flounces, and bottom.  It really had me pondering at first with the elastic and the circumference and I had to question myself a few times if I did something wrong.  When inserting the 6 inch elastic around such a huge sleeve circumference, I had to swallow my patience pill, gather and pull.
BEFORE ELASTIC WAS INSERTED
 Unlike my daughter's view, the pleating was a breeze and it literally took 20 minutes to pleat and attach. When they both were finish, I was in awwwww as they both look so perfect next to each other.

I also had a design error with the right which I opted not to even worry about.  I accidentally turned the inside seam on the outside instead of matching on the inside. The issue is that the notches matched perfectly and since I inserted the elastic with the first sleeve before attaching, I did NOT even notice until I was done.  I decided to leave it and do the same with the other sleeve. Sometimes in life, things don't always match up and life isn't perfect so I decided to leave it because I had serged the entire sleeve before seeing the error.  I love the use of bias tape for both the sleeves and hem.  I was a bit frustrated trying to hem the curves and after 30 minutes with just 1 flounce, I gave up and decided to use bias tape.  I really love how it turned out and the hem of both garments has a super clean finish.


My daughter truly loves a GREAT mommy and me sewing project and I am happy that we were able to wear it on Valentine's Day.  Arielle is so excited to learn how to sew as well and has enrolled in Mimi G Sew It Academy Kids.



I will be working on a few Spring mommy and me looks that I will wear during my Spring Break vacation and hope that my son (my photographer) will finally allow me to share him with the world.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's day and stay tune for some awesome pieces on the blog for Spring.
ROCKING MY WINNING JEANS!
Thanks for stopping by!
Photos captured by my son Aiden and daughter Arielle.

 Love Overdriveafter30!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: Casual Silk Top and Crepe Knit Pants


Happy Valentine's Day!  One of my favorite things about Valentine's Day is seeing pink and red everywhere.  In the middle of the month of February, which can be such a cloudy and dreary month, seeing colorful pinks and reds can really make me smile.  So when I saw this Dragonfruit Pink 100% Silk Blouse Fabric, my mind went straight to Valentine's Day!


I didn't know exactly what I wanted to make with such a luscious fabric, and went back and forth several times on what it would eventually become.  I was sooo tempted to make a dress with it, but I knew that if I made a dress, it would be something that would languish in the closet, worn only once in a blue moon.  I really wanted to make this into something that would be wearable in an everyday casual setting, not hidden away waiting for a special occasion!  So, I decided to make a "casual" silk top.  Is that an oxymoron?  I hope not!  I really want it to be a thing.  I know that I won't be doing the dishes, or digging in the garden in my "casual" silk top, but I do think that I can wear it at home, at work, doing light office work or watching TV!



While I was contemplating what to make, I did the unthinkable- I washed it in the washing machine! I knew that it would change the fabric somehow, but I also knew that no matter how hard I try not to, I always end up spilling something on what I am wearing.  So, into the washing machine it went.  And luckily, it came out beautiful.  It was still vibrant, had a soft sheen, and a slightly more crinkled texture, which I loved.  I can't say that I recommend you do this to all silks, but if you are like me and don't want to dry clean, it's definitely worth a shot to at least wash a small square and see how it goes.  Fabric Mart always has an incredible silk selection to choose from. 


At that point, I found McCalls 7251- a tunic pattern with a shaped neckband that reminded me of a sweetheart neckline- perfect for Valentine's Day!  I could definitely see this style of tunic worn with some casual pants, and it had some interesting pleating details that would show up well in a solid fabric.


I wouldn't say that this is a beginner project- just working with this type of fabric is a challenge- all the way from cutting it out, to hemming it.  But, I just tried to take my time and enjoy the process.
This particular silk is what I would call a featherweight silk- it's like the whipped cream of fabrics, although whipped cream probably weighs more.  It is just light as air, which poses some interesting challenges when sewing with it!  Here are a few of my tips with working with featherweight silk:

1.  Some people swear by cutting only a single layer at a time, but I've found that if I lay tissue paper underneath a double layer of silk, and then use a rotary cutter, that this works most of the time.  I just use tissue paper from the dollar store, and lay it out under the full length of the fabric that I'm cutting.  I make sure that my blade is very sharp.  Any nicks in the blade will cause sections that will pull and not cut.

2.  Block fuse a section of your fabric with a featherweight fusible interfacing.  Then, when cutting out pieces that need interfacing like neckbands and plackets, cut the interfacing and fabric at the same time.  You know how instructions usually have you interface one side of a band or collar, but not the other?  I will fuse both sides, as otherwise, it can be a nightmare to try to sew them together.  As long as you use a featherweight interfacing, it doesn't get too heavy.

3.  Use the smallest needle that you have for your sewing machine.  For mine, that is usually a 60-70.  Otherwise, the needle just overwhelms the fabric.  This small of a needle can be a pain to thread, so wind a couple of bobbins first, so that you don't have to rethread it a second time! 

4.  When hemming, the only way that I've found to work consistently well is to do a baby hem.  This involves stitching a line around the edge, then pressing the line to the inside of the garment.  Trim close to your stitching, and fold again, one more time before stitching the hem in place.  It sounds like a lot of work, but in the end, it's less work than ripping out your first try when you realize that it looks bad!



For something to wear with the tunic, I was lucky enough to snag a couple of yards of this wonderful crepe knit.  It went fast on the FabricMart website, and they don't have any left, unfortunately.  I had tried on a pair of ready- to-wear crepe knit pants that I loved the feel of, and I had been on the hunt for some crepe knit to make my own.  Crepe knit has a heavy drape, and kind of a spongy texture to it.  It's not a thick fabric, but not sheer either.  This print had just a hint of pink in it, which I thought would work with the silk. 


I knew just which pants I wanted to make- Butterick 6389.   They had a loose fit that I thought would work with this fabric, as well as pockets, and a combination interfaced front/ elastic back waistband.

I really love how these pants turned out.  They are super comfy, quick to make, and I think that the print will work with quite a few tops.  I highly recommend this pattern for pants if you like this style.



So, I'll be spending Valentine's day in this outfit- enjoying a nice dinner at home.   But, it won't be the last day to wear it- I will be hopefully enjoying this outfit on many days to come.  Have you ever made a "casual" silk top?  If not, please join me and let's make this a trend!  Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Happy Sewing!
Ann

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Made By A Fabricista: Fabric Kits

For this month's post, I decided to show you a wonderful product on Fabric Mart's site. Fabric Kits!  Did you know Fabric Mart has these?  If you've never used a Fabric Kit, it is a great opportunity to try a new pattern company with a fabric that is perfect for that make.


Here is a link so you can browse for yourself!  Fabric-Kits


I chose a kit in my favorite color to wear, black.  My kit is by The Sewing Workshop and I made the Eureka skirt in a ponte knit in black.  


As I mentioned earlier, the pattern and fabric pairing is really nice.  This skirt is perfect in a rather stable ponte knit.  This fabric washes and dries really well and holds its shape when you wear it all day.  

I always forget how difficult it is to photograph black inside.  The details on this skirt are fun.  This is different than a regular straight skirt.  I hope you can see the seaming on this skirt.  There are no side seams and the V in the front forms a bit of a pleat at the center front and back.  It also has an elastic waistline and this time of year, who doesn't love that?  


To go with this skirt, I choose this gray and black striped knit.  This was very nice to work with and even nicer on my skin!  I used a free pattern I found on-line and I quite like it and thought the casual styling was really nice with the skirt, plus it hides the elastic waistband so I am the only one who knows!  


Fabric Mart has a nice selection of notions and one I want to highlight is the SewkeysE tape.  If you've never tried this, do!  It is amazing on knits and I am so sold on it I won't use any other brand.  I used it on the hems of my top and skirt and also to stabilize the neckline of the top.  It works like a dream!  


After fusing the SewkeysE tape, it is simple to just turn the hem up and then stitch.  Since I am not loving my coverstitch, I use a stretch stitch on my regular Bernina sewing machine and it worked beautifully.  


I hope if you're not too sure about sewing with knit fabric you'll give a Fabric kit a try.  I also hope you'll try the SewkeysE tape!  It applies so easily and makes a nice clean edge if you like to use it as a guide for pressing a perfect hem length.  See below for that!  


Thanks for reading!
Sue from Ilove2sew!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Made By A Fabricista: Trail Blazing with Simplicity 1421


Hey Peeps! I'm back with another Simplicity 1421 Blazer! I love this pattern and you better believe if I have to make a blazer this would be my first choice and if I have to sew a skirt my go-to pattern is Skirt Simplicity 1559.  I put this  bold graphic print with stripes because you know I like to mix it up!  

I loved this blazer fabric so much that I purchased three different colors. Every time Fabric Mart posted it online, I grabbed it up quick. The first print I used to make the maxi wrap skirt below. I haven't used the third version of this print yet.

 

 
This print is no longer available but no worries, there are always other options. That's the one thing that I love about Fabric Mart, they are always getting in new merchandise and I can usually count on them getting in big bold prints.They do have  two prints in stock that caught my eye and would make awesome blazers!

      






 

 Here are some  of my other Simplicity 1421 Blazers


(The middle fabric was that awesome gold painted denim from Fabric Mart)
Well until next time Peeps!
Michelle @ www.thatblackchic.com

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Made by a Fabricista: A Coat to Love


 I love plaids- maybe I've made that declaration in this space once before- but I LOVE them.  I can't say that I love plaid matching but when I saw this wonderful Mimi G plaid coat last year I knew that her estimation of McCalls 7259 was spot on.  There is minimal plaid matching and it seems the two are a match made in heaven. 


When I looked through all the coating fabrics on Fabric Mart several plaids jumped out at me.  There is still some of this colorway available here.  They also have some great buffalo plaids that would pair beautifully as well.  The coating I chose is 100% wool and handled gorgeously.  It has a great spongy feel and is wonderful to wear.  I am perpetually chilly in the winter and often wear a coat like this at work off and on through out the day.

When planning my coat I was really hoping for some great front pockets, and not just patch pockets topstitched down, but pockets that leaned a little toward couture.  I wanted them to be big enough for my smartphone, a tissue, keys or a pair of gloves.  I rifled through all my patterns in search of a suitable pocket and couldn't find one, until I remembered an old pattern of my Mom's that I'd set to the side to read for coat sewing tips.  It's McCalls 7881, a vintage Palmer/Pletsch, and I knew that it was bound to have some great sewing tips in the instructions- just a note, if you ever come across vintage patterns (and especially vintage Palmer/Pletsch) buy them, so often they have the most wonderfully detailed instructions.
What I didn't know until closer inspection was that this pattern also had the exact pockets I was searching for!  They have three pattern pieces, wow!  The outer fabric pattern piece, the lining, and the interfacing.  Exactly what I was looking for, a pocket that would be eased around the edges so as to roll under and hide the lining.  And when I stick my hand in the pocket I feel that smooth lining and not wool. 


I was so thrilled that I did not have to draft these pockets but just lift them from the pattern and get to work.  The only way where I parted with the original plan for these pockets was that I used a 3/8 inch seam allowance just to make sure they were large enough.

You can see from the picture above that the included instructions are AMAZING.  There are interfacing guides, sleeve cap instructions, how to establish a roll line, all of the great tailoring tips you need when making a coat.  Now if you're wondering how you can get your hands on these instructions you should buy the book "Jackets For Real People" by Palmer/Pletsch.  I have the book and compared the two and every bit of the pattern instructions are in the book.    



I am loving the option of two sets of pockets.  I've worn this coat many times since making it and find myself reaching in those pockets for everything that's been dropped in there.  I probably should have doubly reinforced those front pockets! 




For those of you who are wondering, I interfaced the entire jacket, I just like the durability and weight the interfacing gives.  I also used a sleeve cap out of fleece to keep it from collapsing, and a back stay.  I am sure there are more couture ways to do all of this that involve horse hair canvas and the like but these are the methods that are readily available to me and still give me great results. 


 You can see that I added a tag.  These tags were given to me by my Mother in law some years back.  She has since passed and its nice to add this tag and think of her and her encouragement around my sewing.
The lining is some kind of poly satin I received in a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart some time back.  It worked great, however it did not like steam from the iron so I had to be careful when ironing.  


Maybe you're considering sewing your first coat.  I say GO FOR IT, there are so many things that might hold you back but the best way to learn is just to give it a whirl.  A pattern like this is a great start, aside from the plaid matching it was a really straight forward piece and any beginner could tackle it.  If you're fearful about investing in a nice wool fabric and then ruining it, buy it on sale, Fabric Mart is always running a great sale and you're bound to luck up on a great coating.  


I have been so pleased with my coat and have even found myself thinking of making a bunch of red, black and white outfits to go with it- ha, ha- then I might never take it off until spring!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Elizabeth